There is a lot going on in the field of textile recycling. The main raw material is textile production waste, which is easy for companies to collect. Cotton, wool and all synthetic fibers are thus recycled and at least partly mixed with new materials. Even recycled laminates and zippers are already on the market.
Down can also be recycled. This does not come from waste, but from the collection of old bedding. If it has not previously been possible to break fiber mixtures down into their starting materials in order to recycle them, there are also new solutions from the side. Numerous companies and laboratories around the world are working on the chemical separation of cotton and polyester. Polyester becomes polyester again and cotton cellulose powder, which can be used for cellulose fibers such as viscose. Work is also underway on new plastics that are easier to recycle.
Recycling of old clothes is still a problem because clothing consists of a mix of many materials and is seldom pure. In addition, finishing processes such as dyeing, impregnating and laminating change the fiber properties. Because no one knows exactly which fibers and chemicals are in old clothes, no new fibers can be made from them.